Fertility can be a highly sensitive topic that brings up a lot of emotion. However, this post is mainly to educate on how TCM views and supports fertility in order to provide hope and support to those who need/want it.
How can Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine support fertility?
🩸Improves blood flow to the reproductive organs which helps bring a healthy supply of oxygenated blood, nutrients and clear out stagnant substances to help improve egg quality and endometrial lining. And in the male case, improve sperm quality.
❤️Reduces stress and balances emotions. Stress causes stagnation in the pelvic organs and can affect hormone levels. Stress at ovulation time can prevent egg release or cause the fine muscles in the Fallopian tubes to tense and contract which can block the free passage of the egg to the uterus. Anxiety, trauma or long-lasting emotions can affect how the Heart communicates with the Uterus via the Bao Vessel which refers to the signal from the brain to the ovary to grow and release eggs. This can result in irregular or no ovulation. Repeated miscarriages or prolonged fertility issues can be challenging on so many levels, so addressing emotional wellbeing is (in my opinion) essential.
🚦Clears obstructions. If you have had painful, heavy, clotty periods or spotting for a while, this can be a sign of obstruction in the uterus. This may include those with endometriosis, fibroids or cysts. Acupuncture and herbal medicine can clear out blood stagnation to restore how the uterine lining is shedding and forming. It can also clear phlegm-damp accumulation which may be sticking to the ovary/fimbriae or obstructing the fallopian tubes and preventing egg release.
🗓️Regulate a healthy menstrual cycle. Scanty, missing, irregular, heavy, long or short cycles can all indicate something out of balance that may be the reasoning behind struggles with fertility. Acupuncture & TCM works to restore a healthy cycle.
⚡️Improving mitochondria levels of the egg & sperm to prepare them for their journey to embryo. In TCM Kidney yang is responsible for the energy in these cells and herbal medicine can be used to support this especially in the days leading up to ovulation. Improving ovarian resilience and egg quality is the role of the Kidney (Jing in particular) in TCM.
😏 Support libido. Obviously, making a baby requires sex unless you are only doing IVF. TCM views a strong libido as a result of nourished Kidney yang energy. If there is dryness or discomfort this usually has an underlying cause to be addressed too.
👩🏫Another big part is EDUCATION and awareness around the menstrual cycle and general health of the body.
Acupuncture can also support the IVF process and the effects this has on the body, emotions and soul. This is for another post because it is another huge topic. ✨🌱
If you are struggling with fertility issues, please know that you are not alone and that you are worthy of having a baby of your own. The whole experience can be very isolating, stressful, exhausting and filled with mixed emotions. It may take time, which is the last thing you want to hear, but it can be helpful to trust the process and in divine timing. There is support available if you want it.
If you want to find an acupuncturist near you, you can head to https://www.ahpra.gov.au and enter your location (if you are in Australia).
If you are in Mildura and want support with fertility, please get in touch or book an appointment ❤️
📖 References all included in ‘Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine’ by Jane Lyttleton (highly recommend reading this book!)